All God’s creatures are good, without defect or blemish, and perfectly created (Gen1:4, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31). He did not create anything characterized by evil or wickedness. So, He created sensible angels with free will, and they are able to think and do whatever they want. On the other hand, He didn’t create wicked angels or devils or demons…etc, but only righteous angels. Therefore, these devils or wicked angels are fallen angels. As there is a law controlling the human nature, so also for angels, but the latter exceeds the first because the angels’ capabilities exceed those of human. Accordingly their fall is more dangerous than that of men because the human body is a physical one, in contrary to the spiritual body of the angels which could move with great speed. The angels also have knowledge, understanding and wisdom which exceed those of men. Therefore they know God Himself, and this knowledge surpasses human knowledge because they are standing before the divine throne praising God day and night and worshipping Him for ever. But we may wonder how these wicked angels or devils exist?
All the angels, after being created, faced a test. We do not know when this happened, but we know that the result was that some of them fell because of their pride and arrogance, and those fallen angels are called “wicked angels” or “devils” (Mk1:34; Lk9:1; 10:17; 1Cor10:20; Jam2:19) and “demons” (Lk6:18) because of their excessive wickedness. But the righteous angels are called “the holy angels,” as the Lord Christ has said, “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, and then He will sit on the throne of His glory. All the nations will be gathered before Him” (Matt25:31, 32). They are also called “the chosen angels” to confirm and to specify the fact that God has chosen them by His endless wisdom, justice and foreknowledge. St. Paul says, “I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality” (1Tim5:21).
Who are the Wicked Angels?
They are hosts of the cherubim (singular Cherub) who are full of knowledge under their archangel who was called “Sataniel.” The rank of the cherubim is of higher level of the angels who are specialized in serving the divine throne. The Prophet Ezekiel says, “Thus says the Lord God: ‘You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering… You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones. Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground” (Eze28:12-17). Thus, Sataniel and his angels fell from their rank by their insistence and voluntary action to be called the wicked angels. The name of Sataniel is changed to Satan by removing the suffix “iel,” which is the name of God, because he is no longer related to God. After his fall, Satan kept all the characteristics of angels regarding might, capabilities, understanding… etc. His nature is completely changed from righteousness to wickedness, serving evil, therefore he is called “the enemy of all righteousness” (Act13:10).
How did They Fall?
The fall of Satan and his angels was the result of their pride and arrogance. Thus, the Prophet Isaiah wondered about this saying, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit” (Isa14:12-15). Archangel Michael stood against him, and rebuked him by saying, “Who is like God,” which I the origin of his name. The book of Revelation says, “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Rev12:7-9). Furthermore, the Lord Christ said to His disciples, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven” (Lk10:18) referring to Satan’s fall and his angels from their rank to be angel of darkness instead of angels of light, exactly like the lightning loosing it brightness. The sin of pride, which led Satan to desire to be like God, was the same he used against the first man (Gen3:5). For this reason, St. Paul warned to select a novice to be a bishop, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil (1Tim3:6).
Satan and his fallen angels were not prevented from entering the heaven and to present himself before God. The book of Job stated that “Now there was a day when the sons of God (i.e. the righteous angels) came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came among them. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘From where do you come?’ So Satan answered the Lord and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it” (Job1:6, 7). Prophet Zechariah also says, “Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the Angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right hand to oppose him. And the Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you!’” (Zech3:1, 2). But he will not be able to enter the new heaven, heavenly Jerusalem, prepared for the righteous to dwell in it forever, and in which righteousness dwells. He will not be able to enter because he will be into the lake of fire and brimstone eternally (Rev20:10) for the former things have passed away (Rev21:1-5).
We may wonder why these angels fell while being angels characterized with great capabilities. From where evil came to them if God didn’t create it? Do they have a chance for repentance? The angels, as we know, have a sensible, alert and knowledgeable nature. They also have a free will and logical mental pattern. Accordingly, they do not misunderstand. So, if one of them tends to go the wrong way, this is not due to an illogical thought pattern or misunderstanding. Rather, it is due to insistence and willingness to fulfill their intention. Therefore, what happened with Sataniel and his angels is completely different from what happened with man who fluctuates between good and evil. For this reason, the angel does not regret any wrongdoing he committed, nor changes himself because his tendency to wrongdoing is not the result of lacking of wisdom or understanding, nor due to fluctuation and weak will but rather due to firm will which does not change. As for man, he often comes back to himself after committing sin, and regrets it as soon as he realizes the mistake he committed which he did not understand before fall. In contrary, the angel has perfect understanding and his vision is perfectly clear. Therefore he does not return from the way he walked. Sataniel and his angels deviate completely from what is righteous to what is evil by their own personal mind, and without the role of any tempter or deceiver, while man was deceived by Satan. Therefore, there is no repentance for the fallen angels.
Satan, being created, was not able to do anything without the power granted to him by God the creator. So, he deviated from his natural abilities and tried to be equal to God, believing that the glory he had was his own and not acquired to him by God, so he fell in vain glory. Therefore, he wanted to add the divine capabilities to his own to be like God, and accordingly he sinned and lost his rank together with his angels to form what is called “kingdom of Satan” (Matt12:26; Lk11:18).
The Number of Devils
We can not know their number and we are not able to count them because their number is enormous. When our Lord Jesus casted out demons from one person at the country of the Gadarenes, He asked the devil about his name, and he answered saying, “My name is Legion; for we are many” (Mk5:9). The word “legion” in Latin refers to a Roman military unit of 6000 troops in addition to 1200 cavalry as it was during the reign of August Caesar. St Paul, in his talk about devils gives us an idea that their number is massive and innumerable. He says, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” (Eph6:12). Despite this fact, their number is much small than that of the righteous angels.
The Kingdom of Devils
It is the kingdom of darkness, where Satan is the chief of devils from different ranks (Matt12:24). This well organized kingdom consists of many armies with different tasks, and these devils are called “spiritual hosts of wickedness” (Eph6:12). Our Lord Christ refers to this kingdom by saying, “If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?” (Matt12:26). What was mentioned in (Dan10) indicates that the Satan has a kingdom with organized armies. When Daniel fasted for 21 days and humbled himself before God to explain to him his vision. The Lord sent him the great Archangel Gabriel at the beginning of his humiliation, but he did not reach Daniel, but after 3 weeks. The reason for this delay is that the devil to whom assigned the leadership of the Persian region, obstruct Gabriel from reaching Daniel. Therefore, Archangel Michael rose to his rescue (Dan10:13). In the same chapter which speaks of the chief devils as the ruler of the Persian Kingdom, he refers to the ruler of Greece, another chief of the devils assigned over Greece (Dan10:20).
The Names of Satan
The chief of the wicked angels has many names which describe him and his characters. Among which are:
• Satan: as in (Matt4:10; Mk1:13; 4:15; Lk10:18; 2Cor2:11). It is a Hebrew name meaning “the adversary,” “the opponent” (Tit2:8) or “the accuser.”
• The Devil: as in (Matt4:1, 5, 8, 11; 13:39; 25:41; Rev12:9). It is a Greek name meaning “the tempter” (Matt4:3; 1Thes3:5) “the accuser” (Rev12:10), “the deceiver” (Rev12:9). He is the liar and the father of it (John8:44) and he is our enemy (1Pet5:8; Matt13:39).
• Beelzebub: who is the ruler of the demons as in (Matt10:25; 12:24, 27; Lk11:15, 18). Originally, It is “Baal-Zebub” who is the great god of Ekron (Palestinians) (2Kin1:2, 3, 6, 16).
• The evil one: as in (Matt6:13; 5:37; Jhn17:15; 1Jhn2:2, 3; 1Thes3:3). Satan is the evil spirit (Act19:15, 16, 12).
• Belial: as St. Paul called him in (2Cor6:14, 15). It is a Hebrew name meaning “useless,” “not benefitting” or “Wicked.” It was used to describe those who do not fear God nor regard man, mainly Satan’s children who are wicked vile men (Jud19:22; 1Sam1:16; 3:13).
• The ruler of the world: as the Lord Christ said about him (Jhn12:31; 14:30; 16:11) and also he is called the one who weakened the nations (Isa14:12). During the temptations of the Lord Christ, Satan showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish” (Lk4:5-7).
• The prince of the power of the air: as St. Paul called him in (Eph2:2).
• The god of this age: as St. Paul also called him in (2Cor4:4).
• The great dragon or the serpent of old: as in the book of Revelation (Rev12:9; 20:2) due to his cruelty and horror (Isa27:1) and the malice and the lethal power of his venom since he was a murderer (Jhn8:44). He is also called the roaring lion (2Pet5:8; Ps91:13).
• The angel of the bottomless pit: as he is called in the book of Revelation “… the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon (meaning destroyer), but in Greek he has the name Apollyon” (Rev9:11) since he was a murderer (Jhn8:44) and he had the power of death (Heb2:14).
Satan’s Characteristics and Deeds
Based on the names given to Satan, we could define his numerous characteristics and deeds:
• He has destructive tremendous physical power. So, he is able to direct severe winds to destroy houses and possessions (Job1:19). He is also able to enter into people and animals (Gen3:1; Mk5:1-13), and to strike others with diseases, insanity or deformities, as it is obvious from Job’s story (Job2:4-7), aiming to let them curse God. Another example is King Saul who was troubled by a distressing spirit when the Spirit of God departed from him (1Sam16:14). Further more, he could control the possessed person to destroy his life, like that person whom the unclean spirit had thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him and wherever it seized him, it threw him down; he foamed at the mouth, gnashed his teeth, and became rigid (Matt17:14-18; Mk9:17-27). This case was one among many miracles the Lord Jesus performed which prove this fact e.g. healing the insane one (Matt12:22-24), and the crippled woman (Lk13:10-16), besides the people He casted out demons from (Matt4:14; Lk4:41; Matt9:31, 32…). Although Satan has these capabilities, he is able to perform only within the limitations that God allows.
• He has psychological power to impact on people’s minds and souls. Therefore, he is behind every betrayal, scandal, shame, hatred, hardship and deceit. There are many situations and sins man would never have been debased enough to go through unless Satan was behind it or motivating it. For example, the Prophet David falling in both adultery and murder, and the denial of the Apostle Peter who was full of enthusiasm and courage.
• He has no shame, but he is obstinate, persistent, relentless, stubborn, and does not retreat. These characteristics are clear when he was tempting the Lord Christ. He was not ashamed to tempt Him; and he tried one trial after another, after his defeat, without desperation. Out of his stubbornness, after he had attempted every possible temptation with Christ, he didn’t decide to depart for good but rather he departed from Him until an opportune time, according to St. Luke the Evangelist (Lk4:13).
• He is deceiving by using his trickery and mysterious ways. So, he convinces man that there is nothing called devil, but rather men are the real devils. He also convinces man that he is everything in order to puff up and become haughty. He also convinces man that nothing called lawful or unlawful, and right or wrong, but whatever man desires is the right thing to do. Therefore he encourages this poor man to fulfill his desire without considering its consequences and without caring about God and His commandments.
• He pretends to be compassionate for his victims until he leads them to fall into sin. This scheme was used by Satan with our Lord Christ in His temptations when Satan pretends to have pity on Him for seeing Jesus fasting for forty days abstaining completely, suggesting that He may convert stones into bread (Matt4:1-4). He is still using that same scheme against us. So, he shows us his compassion when we fast suggesting to eat in order to take care of our health, and advices us to sleep when watching is needed (Matt26:40, 41), and to decrease from our struggling since our salvation is guaranteed, and he also gives us excuses for our mistakes to relief our conscience…
• He is misleading and a liar (Jhn8:44). The most impressive evidence of his dexterity in deception is what St. Paul warned us of, saying, “No wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light” (2Cor11:14). He may also deceive some people by letting them believe to go to those who predict knowing the future or to those who work incredible things using black magic to deceive the naïve ones as if they are miracle doers. We have the example of the sorcerers and the magicians of Pharaonic Egypt (Exud7:11). Another example is Simon the sorcerer who astonished the people of Samaria with his sorceries (Act8:9) and the slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination in Philippi (Act16:16-18). Furthermore, the Antichrist will be another example at the last days (2Thes2:8-12). Therefore, the Lord warned us from such people (Deut18:10-12). On the other hand, repentance of those sorcerers and magicians demands to stop practiced black magic and to burn their books, exactly like what happened in Ephesus (Act19:19).
• He is alert and watchful for every opportunity to lead each one to fall, as he used the hunger of the Lord Christ after fasting for forty days, the fear of St. Peter during the trial of Jesus to let him fall into denial (Matt26:69-75), and the literal meaning of keeping the Sabbath to let the Jews denied Christ’s miracles to reject Him and disbelieve to be saved (Jhn9:13-16; Matt12:9-14). He also fights man in his wakefulness by deeds, words, thoughts or emotions, just as in sleep by defiled or shocking dreams. He does not calm down, slumber or sleep.
• He wisely selects the type of temptation that suits each person, as well as the perfect timing and the approaching way to be convincing. He could fight some people to fall in certain sins like those by senses, or hatred, revenge, lustful deeds…etc. He could fight others by pride, vain glory, looking after praise and honor, judging others…etc. Furthermore, he could also fights another group by doubts, loosing heart, desperation, evil thoughts, spiritual luke-warmness, laziness, carelessness, or by atheism or shaking their faith.
• He could also cause disturbance and division to destroy the houses and communities, in spite of the fact that his kingdom is absolutely not divided against itself (Matt12:25, 26).
• The might of the wicked angels are varied since they are not from the same rank, but rather there are rulers and ruled ones (Eph2:2; 6:12; Matt9:34). Therefore, they are also varied in their deception and trickeries. Our Lord Jesus illustrates that by saying, “When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first” (Matt12:43-45). Thus, there are devils that are wicked more than the others.
According on what happened with our father Adam, the first man, we can conclude Satan’s techniques for deceit and temptation:
• He does not approach man face to face, but rather he use a mediator as he used the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve (Gen3:1-7). He always uses the same technique. For example, Jezebel played the role of the serpent against King Ahab (1King21:1-25); and the friends of Rehoboam, King Solomon’s son, played the same role against him (1Kin12:1-14). Thus, Satan selects and uses the weak link as a mediator against the strong person.
• He pretends to be the loving and compassionate person who cares for our benefit as the serpent did to tempt them by saying, “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?… You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen3:1, 4, 5). He did the same technique with Our Lord Jesus to tempt Him, as he pretend to have compassion on Him because He fasted for forty days without eating, and he suggested that Jesus should convert the stone into bread, not meat (Matt4:3). Satan always pretends to be caring for our benefit at the time he convinces us that God deprives us from beneficial things lest we will be like Him.
• He always leads to doubt the divine promises and commandments. For example, he passively questioned the divine command by saying to Eve, “Has God indeed said…” and he successfully found a place for him into her heart, leading her to converse with him, till she changed the truthful word of God by saying, “We may eat the fruit of the trees of the garden; but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat it, nor shall you touch it, lest you die’” (Gen3:2, 3) for God did not order them not to touch the tree or its fruit. By his words to Eve, he showed God as unjust in His statutes. In contrary, the Lord Christ avoided to converse with Satan, during His trials, but rather He stopped the talk in every trial by using a divine command. Therefore, the Psalmist says, “Through Your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way” (Ps119:104).
• Satan tries to lead us to loose our trust in the love of God so that we may fall. It is obvious in the words of the serpent to Eve, “For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen3:5). These words signify that God wants to prevent what is good to reach to them otherwise they will be gods equal to Him. It seems that this was the meaning intended by the words of Job’s wife as she said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!” (Job2:9). It looks like she was blaming God for all what had happened with Job due to His lack of love for Job.
• He also beautifies and decorates sin to be bright before us. At the same time, he hides its filthiness and consequences. For example, he showed Eve the benefit of eating the forbidden fruit by saying, “your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” (Gen3:5); and he hid the most serious consequence of eating it by saying, “You will not surely die” (Gen3:3). At that moment, sin became good, pleasant and desirable, “So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise” (Gen3:6). Accordingly fall happened.
Satanic warfare could be spiritual wars, bodily lusts or intellectual wars. In spite of Satan’s might, his wicked characteristics and his deceiving trickeries, we have to realize the following facts:
• If Satan has liberty to do all what he desires, he will destroy both the universe and people. He is not free neither to destroy people nor to tempt them or to harm them as he wants. God put boundaries for him to limit his capabilities as it is obvious in the story of Job. God said to him, “Only do not lay a hand on his person… spare his life.” (Job1:12; 2:6).
• Satan is not able to prevent man’s free will or to coerce man to commit certain sin, but rather man uses free will to chose either to do or not to do what Satan tempted him with. “Let no one say when he is tempted, ‘I am tempted by God’; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed” (Jam1:13, 14).
• Satan is not able to tempt anyone without God’s permission for the spiritual benefit of that person, exactly like what happened with Job (Job1:8-12; 2:2-6). In case such temptation will lead this person astray from God or could harm him spiritually, it is impossible that God will allow it to happen because God is not tempting anybody by evil (Jam1:13). Trials could be to test the faith, like what happened with Abraham (Gen22:1) and Job (Job1, 2); or for purification as St. Paul says, “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.” (Heb12:5, 6). Our Lord Jesus also says, “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent” (Rev3:19). Therefore, the Prophet David asked the Lord saying, “Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart” (Ps26:2). Another reason for these trials could be to chasten and to discipline for sin, as the Lord Christ said to the paralyzed person at the pool of Bethesda after healing them, “See, you have been made well. Sin no more, lest a worse thing come upon you.” (Jhn5:14). Furthermore, Trials could happen to reveal the glory of God, as the Lord Jesus says, regarding the person who was born blind, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him” (Jhn9:3). He also said, regarding Lazarus’ death, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (Jhn11:4).
• The temptation, permitted by God, should be suitable for the person’s ability, and it should have a way of escape. “No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1Cor10:13).
• God does not leave us behind, but rather is afflicted with us due to our affliction and provides us with heavenly help “In all their affliction He was afflicted,
And the Angel of His Presence saved them” (Isa63:9). The Prophet Elisha experienced this, and said, “Those who are with us are more than those who are with them” (2King6:16).
• Sometimes, God allows Satan to manifest his physical power which may seem tremendous indeed, so that almighty God Himself may be glorified through His own power which reveals Satan’s weakness. The Egyptian magicians and fortune tellers, for example, were able to do some amazing things, just as Moses did. But during the 3rd plague, they found themselves absolutely incapable, and they declared their failure by saying to Pharaoh, “This is the finger of God.” (Exud8:19). This same matter is repeated at all times, as it happened with the apostles.
• Deliverance from Satan’s deeds and tricks could never happen unless we rely on and resort to God. The Lord Christ came to the world to destroy Satan’s deeds (1Jhn3:8). God’s care for us during our temptations is obvious from His words to St. Peter, “Simon, Simon! Indeed, Satan has asked for you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith should not fail; and when you have returned to Me, strengthen your brethren” (Lk22:31, 32). God’s hand for protection is behind every tribulation that afflicted us.
• Every believer should not fear Satan’s might since he trust in the divine promise, “But not a hair of your head shall be lost” (Lk21:18). So, Satan is unable to let anyone to fall except within the divine limits permitted to him. On the other hand, everyone who put on the whole armor of God will be able to stand against the wiles of the devil and prevails (Eph6:10-18), and he will be fearful by Satan “Resist the devil and he will flee from you” (Jam4:7), “… because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world” (1Jhn4:4).
• In the spiritual warfare, we need perseverance and patience, according to St. Paul saying, “For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise” (Heb10:36). Therefore, we shouldn’t fall in desperation if the duration of the war is long because, surely, it will be ended. Here, we remember the words of St. James, “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (Jam1:12).
• We have to be sure that every time we prevail upon Satan that we prevail because the hand of God supported us, and not because of our personal strength. The Lord gives us the authority to trample on serpents, scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt us (Lk10:19). “When I am weak, then I am strong” (2Cor12:10)… I’m weak because of the weakness of my personal power, but I’m strong because of the mighty power of God working within me.
• Finally, we shouldn’t forget that the Lord bound Satan so that he should deceive the nations no more (Rev20:2, 3) i.e. he will not be able to harm people as he wishes or to destroy the elect.
Satan’s Upcoming Future
Satan is bound by the crucifixion of the Lord Christ. It is a proven fact according to the Lord’s word, “Now the ruler of this world will be cast out” (Jhn12:31). St. Paul says, “… having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it” (Col2:14, 15). St. Peter also says, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” (2Pet2:4).
St. John in his revelation says, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Rev20:1-3).
Certainly, Satan fell and saw bound, otherwise the Lord couldn’t say to us, “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you” (Lk10:19) because the believer is not able to use this authority unless Satan is bound.
We may wonder, if Satan is bound, then how he leads uncounted number of people to fall in diverse sins. Binding Satan does not mean that he is vanished or his work is ended, but rather it means that he lost his previous freedom to do whatever he wants, exactly like the employee who is able to do his job freely but his hands are bound by the laws controlling his job.
The end of communism and the return of hundreds of millions of atheists to Orthodoxy is a strong proof that Satan is bound because when he was free, he lead the believers to decline their faith. For example, he led the inhabitants of the earth, except Noah’s family consisting of eight people, to wickedness and filthiness (Gen7, 8). Another example, all peoples worshiped idols except one nation, Israel; and even this nation fell in idolatry when Moses’ return was delayed on the mountain except two persons, Joshua and Caleb (Exud32). Moreover, Solomon, the most wise person in the world was not saved from fall (1King11); likewise Jesus’ disciples before the process of His crucifixion (Lk22:31).
When Satan is released from his bottomless pit he will deceive the nations to cause the falling away (2Thes2:3). He will try to deceive even the elects too, by performing a deceiving signs and false wonders to support the antichrist (Matt24:24; 2Thes2:9, 10). The book of Revelation describes the days of the great tribulation by saying, “Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Rev12:12), “In those days men will seek death and will not find it; they will desire to die, and death will flee from them” (Rev9:6). Unless those days were shortened by God, no one would be saved (Matt24:22, 23).
The Bible indicates that the eternal punishment for Satan and his followers at the last day is eternal fire without mercy. St Peter says, “For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment” (2Pet2:4). About Satan’s future, the Prophet Ezekiel says, “You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; therefore I brought fire from your midst; it devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you. All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror, and shall be no more forever” (Eze28:18, 19). Regarding the future of Satan’s followers, the Lord Christ says, “Depart from Me, you cursed, into the everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels” (Matt25:41). St. Jude also says, “And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day” (Jude1:6). Finally, the book of Revelation states, “The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev20:10).